4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.Revelation 12:4 King James Version (KJV)
The subject of free agency (free will) is so important that a war in heaven was fought over it. It’s a tricky argument as well, so much so that a third of the hosts of heaven were lost. Think about that, one third of the stars in heaven were cast out, lost their chance to come to this earth, because of free agency. Is it not reasonable then to think that the war over agency continues today; and that it is just as important and tricky as it was in heaven?
As I understand it, God has a plan for us to come to earth, be subjected to test and trials, and endure all sorts of difficulties to see if we will choose Him and keep His commandments. If we are faithful, God has promised us eternal life in His presence, but the key point is we are free to choose His plan or reject it.
Jesus accepted God’s will and offered Himself as the ultimate sacrifice, so that although we are imperfect, if we do all we can, Christ will make up the difference. Satan’s plan was crafty and sounds good if you are not careful. His plan was that everyone would come to earth and regardless of what you did, all would be saved in the end. Sounds merciful, doesn’t it, but at what cost? Does it not take away your freedom of choice; and if you cannot choose for yourself, is there really any individual growth?
I think about this quite a bit and how it applies to our earth life. What happens to me if I take an Algebra class and instead of studying just horse around all semester, only to receive an A? Does this make me a mathematician? What happens to me if I am taxed 10% of my income to help end world hunger? Does this make me a charitable person who will give to a neighbor in need? These arguments get tricky and have real consequences to individual freedom and growth. After all who doesn’t think ending world hunger is a good thing?
We do this all the time though, and in most cases we think we are doing something desirable. We use words like, “equality” or “inequality” and we ask government to intervene on behalf of the downtrodden. On the surface that sounds good, but so did “everyone will be saved.” What these things really mean is to take away your freedom to choose, your ability to change and grow. In other words, society claims it is more desirable to compel perceived good behavior than individual liberty. Are we beginning to see how serious this subject is?
Think about it this way, even though being saved is desirable (as is ending hunger), God placed so much importance on agency that He lost one third of His spirit children even before the plan was in place. He also knew he would lose a number of others that wouldn’t choose Him when they came to earth. Sound cruel? No. He is giving us a gift, if we choose to accept it. He is giving us the opportunity to learn and to grow, so that we can be like Him. If we accept Him, then we will want to look after others because that is what He would have us do. We will then have it in our hearts to be good and kind people as a matter of principle, no coercion necessary. Charitable, kind, and loving will only be who we are when we have the opportunities to do so and we choose to act accordingly.